Another story of ugly rubles
A focus of my collection is the three ruble platinum coin, minted between approximately 1828 and 1845 ? though it seems many were minted after those dates. (It amazes me how many proof coins keep showing up.) These are about the size of a nickel and contain about a third of an ounce of platinum.As with gold, the price of platinum is soaring. I watch these coins on EBAY and am astonished at the prices. A trash coin, which the seller seemed to admit was worth little more than bullion value, recently went for $800.As an aside, a good example of a bad job by ANACS is this listing on EBAY. The coin is cleaned and given a very generous EF 45. It looks like it will also command a high price.http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=8419212266&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1Most Russian coinage of the 19th century are fairly bland. But when I look at my costly (to me) rubles, I think these have to be about as ugly as any coin around - but for some others roubles in my collection. Platinum turns gray with age ? and with some wear, the patina is not near as good of that of old nickel. Maybe my coins at just not of high enough grade.Then I thought maybe it is simply the bland design ? until I started checking the gold five ruble coins from the same period with the same design. Those can be real beauties and a high grade can be had for around $800. (Unfortunately, NGC informed me that my beauty had been polished). Old gold is just handsomer than old platinum, and I am not sure but that is the same is true for new gold and platinum.I started this little collection because there is a certain mystique about these, the first platinum coins. And I did like the bullion value.So my dealer mailed me an XF 40 three rouble piece. Same dull color. NGC certified. And not cheap. Is it really nicer than my NGC ?20? ? formerly ANACS 30 until NGC looked at it?I look at the few others I have and think maybe it is time to escape from this rut. Maybe I should be bold, return this coin, and find a great Borodino ruble for less money ? though I am very leery these days about where to buy authentic coins.Or then maybe I should be really bold, to say nothing of patriotic, and look at some US proof gold and platinum. But even with proofs, you can always tell a gold coin, which may not be true of platinum.